Local Hero: Erin Parisi

On the tallest peaks there are no shadows.

For Erin Parisi, a transgender athlete from Denver, the lack of shadows is what draws her to the world’s highest peaks. “The trans community has long been marginalized. On the highest peaks there’s nothing that can cast a shadow on your life,” she says. Currently Parisi’s on a bid to become the first reported transgender climber to top out on all Seven Summits and has only Everest, Vinson Massif in Antarctica, and Denali to go before she does.

With support from REI and Merrell, Parisi is the executive director of TranSending (transending7.org), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting athletics as a platform of transgender awareness and inclusion.  She’s laser-focused on increasing the visibility of LGBTQ people in the outdoors, holding fundraisers, giving public talks, and coordinating partnerships with like-minded state and national organizations. 

While Parisi’s plans to climb Denali and Mt. Vinson have been delayed due to Covid-19, she continues to fundraise and train, often pulling a sled weighed down with jugs of water. “I’m leading by example to show that trans people have a place in the outdoors,” she says. “We will boldly proclaim, from the highest point on every continent, that we are proud, able, and will hide no longer.”

Photo courtesy Erin Parisi

Related Stories

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

RMOC’s Adventure Pass Is the Ticket to Your Best Year Outdoors

RMOC’s impressive Rocky Mountain Adventure Pass gives you access to 10 fun-filled, skill-building outdoor adventures of your choice, from backcountry skiing to stand-up paddle...

Find Your Perfect Winter in Sheridan, Wyoming

The perfect Cowboy State town offers a one-of-a-kind experience for adventurous spirits. From guided snowmobiling excursions to solo backcountry touring, the Bighorn Mountains are...

Find Out What You’ve Been Missing at Loveland Ski Area

Deep powder is in sight from the I-70 corridor. Whether you drive yourself or snag a ride on the Snowstang, this is the year...

Blues from the Top Music Festival Celebrates 18 Years of Blues on August 14, 2021

On Saturday, August 14, 2021, Grand County’s Winter Park will host the 18th Annual Blues from the Top (BFTT) ‘Day of Blues’ from 11AM-7PM...